This Kansas City rental kitchen helps caterers and food trucks test out their business ideas
Kookin’ Cousins Kitchen, a Kansas City-based kitchen rental and culinary instruction facility, opened its doors in March of this year. Since then, it’s offered residents the chance to hone their cooking skills through a series of classes, and test out their ideas for new restaurants and businesses.
He previously founded the similarly named Kookin’ Cousin Catering, an experience that he said partially inspired him to find a dedicated space where local caterers could operate without needing to purchase a traditional storefront.
“We start by doing things, as they say, ‘out of the trunk’ and selling food to local barber shops," Kirkwood told KCUR's Up To Date. "Later we thought, ‘why don't we be that facilitator for this?’”
Since opening, Kookin' Cousin has mainly functioned as a rental kitchen, allowing Kansas City-area caterers, food trucks, and ghost kitchens to reserve space to prep orders and prepare for events.
The building even has space for businesses to produce promotional media content, like podcasts, to advertise their service.
Operating near the border between Raytown and Kansas City, just off I-70, Kirkwood believes that the business will only get busier with time.
“I felt like we've got easy access,” he says. “I love the convenience of the highways. Especially for catering companies that have to go on the move. It was just a great location.”
In addition to rental services, Kookin' Cousins also began offering a series of cooking classes for adults and children shortly after opening. The classes are aimed at teaching residents general cooking skills and how to find healthier ways to prepare their food.
Kirkwood says he’s been especially happy with the amount of young people who sign up to take the classes.
“The kids that we've had coming in so far they just burst with smiles, energy and questions,” he says. “We get to give them that chance to cultivate a dream, cultivate a passion.”